When you’re networking, think like a farmer, not a hunter

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Networking Tidbits 08I remember when I first started networking in my local business community. Every group and meeting was different. I had one group where it took six months to actually get my first bit of business.

So many times, I see someone show up at a meeting or two and then they move on to another group. They are thinking like the hunter, expecting an immediate sale from the people they meet. There’s no “courting” phase with them. If they don’t get someone to buy within a couple of times attending, they say it’s a waste of their time and move on.

Remember, business is about relationships and it takes some work to get people to trust you. In today’s fly-by-night world, it takes a lot more to build the trust people need to convince them to hand over their hard earned cash. You can’t expect people to trust you immediately, no matter how great or ethical you are. Remember, they don’t can’t know that after once or twice seeing you at an event. It takes time.

Most sales are made between 6 and 12 “touches” with a prospect. That’s the norm in today’s skeptical society. You’ve got to stick it out and show them you’re there for the long haul. Showing up a couple of times then disappearing won’t cut it.

That’s where the farmer mindset comes in. If you walk in to an event with the thought that you’re there to cultivate long term relationships that will pay off dividends in the future, it makes life a lot easier for you. First off, it’s a lot less pressure than thinking you have to close a sale right then and there.

The farmer knows by spending time taking care of the crops he will get more than enough to cover all his needs in the future. This is how relationship marketing works. It’s not about “Who will I sell something to?”. It’s more of “How can I make a difference in someone’s life today?”, knowing it will come back 10x in the future.

People buy from the KLT Factor – Know, Like & Trust. That takes time. Especially if they aren’t already looking for what you have to offer already. When someone is already looking to buy what you have, then it’s a much easier sale. When you walk into a room and they don’t know you, they aren’t likely looking for your products. They have other things on their mind (like selling their own stuff).

Take the time to get to know people first. Get to know what’s important to them. What needs do they have and is there anything you can do to help solve those needs.

That helps build KLT. Be helpful first and focus on building the relationship so they know who you are and what you do but most importantly, that you’re a great person who loves to help. When they are ready to look for someone in your industry, they will think of you first.

That’s when the sales start to come in easy and you’ll see more business than you can handle.

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About The Author:
Ely DelaneyEly Delaney is a dad, Best Selling author, speaker, marketing consultant and Founder/CEO of Your Marketing University. His goal is to teach marketing in a simple easy to understand format businesses can use to help gain marketing ideas & market their businesses to boost sales.

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